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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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be done about it. Dr. Roger Revelle, Director of the Harvard Universit Center for Population Studies, took the question to the then Administrate of the Agency for International Development, Mr. William S. Gaud, who i turn asked the National Academy of Sciences to design and execute th study. Dr. Frederick Seitz, President of the Academy at that time, appoint* the undersigned as a special study committee, and requested Mr. W. Murr; Todd, chief staff officer of the Office of the Foreign Secretary, to help organizing and developing the study.
In the course of this work, two objectives have evolved: First, we h tried to understand some of the consequences (and to a lesser extent some the determinants) of rapid population growth. We have limited ourselves relatively short-term and clear-cut issues, because these are the phenomi that concern the most people and about which policymakers must m decisions now.
Second, we have tried to separate some exceedingly complex probl into manageable components. In the past, much of the case for popula limitation has rested on the presumed likelihood of exponential growth rather long periods of time. Apocalyptic visions of the future are basei simple, mathematical extrapolation of present rates of population growth have asked a number of students of population to tell us what we reall know, on the basis of the carefully collected evidence, and what we dc know; their answers are reported in Volume II. From these papers and < evidence we have tried to derive a set of propositions about popul growth and to infer some implications for the policymaker; these are taine d in V olume I.
We have endeavored to examine the population problem as it affe now-and for the next 5 to 30 years. The time dimension for any action that affects population is very likely to exceed the term of office of the policymaker or planner. This means that the rationale for policy on population must be so clear to the citizenry that the policy'; not dependent upon the term of its political sponsor. Thus we try te the case for public understanding, wide dissemination of knowledge, fi open discussion of available evidence, and dedication to expanded re
In our recommendations in Volume I we argue for action to limit tion growth now, based on the available evidence and the need to d< thing with the tools at our disposal to improve the conditions of families, by giving parents the means and the incentives to limit their 1 and to help societies balance their numbers with available food, jobs tion, health services, or resources.
Rapid Population Growth follows two earlier Academy publicati Growth of World Population (1963) and The Growth of U.S. PC (1965). It is an extension of our understanding and an expressio